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Filipino PrimitiveAccumulation and Resistance in the American Museum$
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Sarita Echavez See

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479842667

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479842667.001.0001

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Lessons from the Illiterate

Lessons from the Illiterate

Carlos Bulosan and the Staged Wages of Romance

(p.99) 3 Lessons from the Illiterate
Filipino Primitive

Sarita Echavez See

NYU Press

Carlos Bulosan’s story “The Romance of Magno Rubio” is about the plight of an illiterate Filipino field worker in Depression-era California going deeper and deeper into debt in order to woo a white American woman. This chapter argues that the story and its contemporary staged adaptation powerfully subvert accumulative values while also introducing a Filipino American alternative economy based on reciprocity and non-accumulation. The illiterate character Magno Rubio shows us how to read.

Keywords:   Asian American theater, Filipino Americans, Carlos Bulosan, debt, migrant agricultural laborers, financial crises

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